Cable residential broadband expansion slowed 17% in Q2

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The top seven U.S. cable companies signed up 461,997 residential high-speed internet users in the second quarter and now control 63.6% of the U.S. residential broadband market, Leichtman Research Group said. 

The second quarter actually marked a significant deceleration for the cable industry, which added 553,293 residential HSI users in the same period of 2016—that’s a 16.5% slowing in broadband expansion. 

Charter Communications reported the biggest growth at 267,000 users, followed by Comcast with 175,000. Leichtman estimated HSI growth for privately held Cox Communications at 15,000 for the quarter.

Phone companies, meanwhile, lost 233,260 more wireline broadband users, a significant slowing of blood loss compared to the 360,783 lost in the same period in 2016.

The biggest loser was Frontier Communications, which bled an additional 101,000 wireline HSI users. CenturyLink followed closely behind, losing 77,000 in the second quarter. 

Overall, the top 14 U.S. wireline HSI suppliers added 228,737 residential users in Q2 versus just 192,510 in the second quarter of 2016.

"Cable companies added about 3.1 million broadband subscribers over the past year, while Telcos had net losses of about 550,000 broadband subscribers," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, in a statement. "At the end 2Q 2017, cable had a 64% market share vs. 36% for Telcos. The broadband market share for cable is now at the highest level it has been since the first quarter of 2004."